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Neck Problems - Need Advice

burns863bburns863 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This is my first post. I came across the forum through Google and I'm hoping that somebody might be able to give me some advice to get some relief from my somewhat odd neck problems.

I use the word odd becaue I'm finding the symptoms difficult to explain, which also makes it difficult to get advice.

First of all my neck problems aren't resulting in pain, but are more so making anything which involves looking in one direction, really uncomfortable. I get this when sitting down using the computer, reading or watching tv mostly.

It is uncomfortable in the way that I literally feel like it is difficult to hold my head up. I get only get relief from the symptoms my being on the move, looking around constantly or - as usually happens - supporting my neck by leaning forward with my chin on my hands. It feels like I constantly need to bring my chin down towards my chest as far as possible to stretch the muscles out. The part that also feels like it needs stretching (and also what seems to give me the feeling of needing to drop my head) is on the back of my head just below where I can feel my skull.

I am travelling from the UK to Australia next week and I am absolutely dreading the flight as I won't be able to lie down to get any sort of relief as I cannot afford business/first class.

I used to get this a long time ago and it was because of my posture. I seeked physio and corrected the way I was sitting and standing. I don't feel that this has changed, my posture is still good. But no amount of sitting up straight is helping this time.

Can anyone offer any advice? I'm at my whits end. It doesn't help that I am bound to a desk for my job as I am uncomfortable all day every day. Any help would be greately appreciated!



  • I thought I should add that I am only 24 (male). I eat well and normally get regular exercise. Although I have to admit I have been slacking on the exercise for the past month for one reason or another. My neck problems have been going on for longer than this though so I don't feel that doing less exercise is related to my problems.
  • I just signed on to this forum myself. I had a C5-C7 cervical fusion in 1999 and am now having more neck problems due to arthritis and a car accident.
    I agree with the suggestions Jellyhall made. Definitely get checked out sooner rather than later. You may have the beginnings of problems that could be nipped in the bud with physiotherapy and possibly medication. You need to find out whether your discomfort is muscular or degenerative. I waited through several years of discomfort before my fusion and didn't see a doctor until I was in severe constant pain. That was not good.
    Cervical pillows are great for travel. When I used to travel I would get up and stretch constantly. Best of luck.
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  • I am also in the UK.
    I have had some sort of neck pain since I was 19, but it would only flare at times and then settle down again. Now I am in my 50s and have chronic pain in my neck, shoulders and arms.

    Having had problems lower down my spine, and needed a lumbar fusion just over a year ago, I recognised the neurological symptoms I was getting in my arms, and was referred for an MRI scan to see what was going on. Here in the UK, that meant a long wait! (over 8 months)

    I have now been diagnosed with significant cervical spondylosis throughout my neck and particularly with cord compression at C3/C4 and C4/C5, from herniated discs and osteo ridges. We are trying to treat conservatively with physio exercises and treatment, which do definately help, and I am waiting for EMG and nerve conduction studies and an appointment with Pain Management for steroid cervical injections.

    I have certainly found that keeping moving is very beneficial. I have been told by a surgeon that it lubricates the joints to keep moving them. I have been given exercises to do daily and also find that gently moving my neck from side to side in the shower helps me. If I stay in the same stretched position for more than a few minutes (3 or 4) I start to get pain. Looking up, down or sideways for very long soon has me changing my position. My neck is very noisy when I move it.

    As for flying to Australia; I would recommend getting a soft, u-shaped cervical pillow (I use mine a lot, on plane and car journeys, at home watching the tv etc.) I also found on-line for a trip to the states earlier this year, a head support for travelling which is inflatable and attatches to the chair, going over one shoulder. Using this in addition to the neck pillow, I could get quite a bit of head support to allow me to doze. If you can't find it on-line, and are interested, Private Message me and I will send you the link to it. You will have to be quick to order it to have it for your flight to Australia!

    While you are on the flight, try to keep getting up for a walk and move your head gently regularly.

    You should see a doctor to let them know about your neck. Perhaps they could refer you for physiotherapy and even do an x-ray to see how much degeneration you have. They may want to do an MRI scan of your neck to see if any nerves are being compressed, but if you don't have any arm pain or symptoms, that may not be the case.

    Have a good trip! :D
    Let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it :) I have PM'd you JH re: the support which attaches to the chair and I shall look into a cervical pillow!

    I'm thinking about having a neck and back massage before I leave, in attempt to get some slight relief!

  • I think that the neck and back massage sounds lovely! I have got quite a bit of relief from them.

    I know that on the plane, they will heat up baby bottles in the microwave. I wonder if they would heat up a wheatbag for you to use on your neck.

    I wish you a great trip. :D How long are you going for?

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  • Just short of 2 weeks. It's a business trip but I will get some free time to explore in the evenings and at the weekend :)

    I've purchased a "Deeper Sleeper Travel Headrest" from Go Planet Go. They look fantastic and have some brilliant reviews! Hoping that this might help me stay comfortable and maybe even get some sleep!

    Thanks for all your help :)
  • I agree with getting it checked out sooner rather than later. I had symptoms similar to yours, where it is hard to hold your head up and you feel like you need support. I always described it as feeling like a bobble head. I had a fusion of the atlas and axis.

    My job does not require me to do much desk work but my Doctor did give me a list of simple neck stretches to do to help alleviate some stiffness. My Dr explained that the stiffness was a build up of gases or toxins and the more you move the less it builds up, similar to a massage. I would recommend learning some neck stretches and doing them regularly while at work or traveling.
  • You have me worried now KShisha! I'm definitely going to get checked out as soon as possible. Only problem is I'm away for 2 weeks, then i go away for another 2 as soon as I'm home!
  • I don't mean to worry you but neck issues should not be ignored. The level you are indicating, c1/c2, could simply be explained by stress as that is the stress center. It also protects part of the brain stem and its connection to the spinal cord and is the most flexible part of the spine.

    If you do a search for neck stretching exercise you should get some results, I remember mine being called flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion.

  • Hi Burn,
    As Foru I am just new on this blod I think I do a mistakke of post. You can see my post on recent post and this message is not only to you but for all if someone can give response i would appreciate
    thanks to all dan62
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